Rainfall will be 97% of the 50-year average with a 56% probability that rains will be normal to excess, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its first stage long range forecast. Unlike the IMD, Skymet had predicted a 100 per cent normal Monsoon, with an error estimate of plus-minus 5 per cent.
Monsoon in 2017 recorded below normal rains.
India is likely to receive normal monsoon rains in 2018, IMD said, raising the probability of higher farm and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.
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The monsoon is considered normal if the average rainfall is between 96 to 104 per cent of long period average.
The latest forecasts from the MMCFS and global models indicate weak negative IOD conditions may develop during the middle of the monsoon season. Less than 90 per cent LPA is termed "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal".
The IMD issues its first monsoon forecast in April and updates it in June.
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However, the arrival of the monsoon and its distribution would play an important part so far as the economy was concerned, experts said.
Last year, the country as a whole received rainfall that was 95 per cent of its long-period average.
According to IMD, there is 42 per cent possibility of normal rainfall and 12 per cent possibility of above normal rainfall - it means there are good chances of normal rainfall in the country.
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